Law School Case Brief
Nursing Care Servs. v. Dobos - 380 So. 2d 516 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1980)
Contracts implied in law, or as they are more commonly called "quasi contracts", are obligations imposed by law on grounds of justice and equity. Their purpose is to prevent unjust enrichment. Unlike express contracts or contracts implied in fact, quasi contracts do not rest upon the assent of the contracting parties.
A nursing care provider gave nursing services to defendant nursing care recipient while defendant was hospitalized, during a post-release period, and during an at-home period. The nursing care provider sought compensation for certain nursing services provided to defendant nursing care recipient in an action for contract implied at law because the defendant refused to pay for the said services. The trial court granted judgment to plaintiff for the post-release care but denied compensation for the other periods.
Does voluntary receipt of services obligate the recipient to pay for them?
On appeal, the court remanded for entry of an amended final judgment granting compensation for all periods because a contract implied in law existed. Although defendant may not have requested the services or given her implied consent while she was hospitalized, it would be unconscionable to deny plaintiff recovery for services which were clearly emergency aid. The court held that plaintiff was entitled to compensation for the at-home care because defendant knowingly and voluntarily accepted those services.
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